Genesis 28-33 – “Surely the Lord Is in This Place”

February 28, 2022 to March 6, 2022

The narrative of the patriarch Jacob has a key place in the history of God’s covenant, which involved visions, holy places, and family relationships.    


“Jacob in the Presence of God,” Andrew C. Skinner, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament

The significance of Jacob’s first vision (Genesis 28) was at least sixfold. First, this vision was Jacob’s opportunity to begin to comprehend for himself “the mysteries of Godliness.” Second, Jacob’s status as a prophet was confirmed. Third, Jacob learned that in his seed, or through his own lineage, all the other families of the earth would be blessed (see Genesis 28:14). Fourth, Jacob learned that if he kept the covenant, God would be with him everywhere he went, that God would fulfill everything He promised to do for Jacob, and that God would bring him back to the land of his inheritance. Fifth, Jacob learned that sanctity and place can be, and often are, linked together. Sixth—and this point ties the other five points together—Jacob received his endowment at Bethel on the occasion of his first vision.

“Chiasmus in the Book of Genesis,” Gary A. Rendsburg, BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 2, supplement, Chiasmus: The State of the Art

Genesis 25-35 is studied as the Jacob cycle. Gary Rendsburg identifies the chiastic structure of this narrative and points out themes. The focal point of the Jacob cycle is Genesis 30:22-25, in which Rachel gives birth and Jacob decides to return to Canaan. This article points out many details that show how these events are part of the major themes of the Bible: the covenant with God, the land of Canaan, and the people of Israel.